Awesome Gang Q&A

Along with my recent interview with The Book Elf I’ve had another Q&A posted by the good folks at Awesome Gang who feature a number of interesting interviews with authors. I’ve got a few more interviews coming up so keep posted for them, but for now you can read the latest interview here. For any other authors out there who want to try and get a bit more exposure it’s an easy process and it’s a lot of fun! 

– The Man of Yesterday

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Felicio Chapter 14 – Starcross’d

Dock Gate 4 was a formidable building built with white stone that stood starkly amidst the industrial, greasy docks. It had once been a train station, which was later converted into a hotel and now it was one of the hottest nightclubs in town. Set against the backdrop of the channel, where cruise liners swept by, it was like a slice of life from the past, with the promise of the glitz and glamour of a bygone era that attracted people from all over the city. The surroundings only made it easier for the guests to feel as if they were transported into the past, but as soon as they walked through the doors they were thrust back into the modern age as the heavy beat of the music throbbed around them and the air was thick and heavy.

                Lewis strode through the crowd with Stacy following sullenly. He greeted various people as he walked through the undulating mass of a crowd, his trim white suit and confident aura garnering attention while Stacy’s natural beauty meant she had to evade unwanted groping hands. Eventually they worked their way to the other side of the room where Lewis nodded to a bouncer who subsequently let them through the door he was guarding. The atmosphere changed instantly. The walls were thick and only a distant beating could be heard, as if the rest of the club was in a far-off world rather than behind the nearest wall.

                They walked through a long corridor and up some stairs, their footsteps making no sound as their shoes sank into a plush red carpet. The whole place smelled of lavender and they walked up a few more flights of stairs until another door was opened for Lewis. The two of them walked in to a well-lit large room. A chandelier hung from the ceiling illuminating the room, directly underneath were a group of middle-aged men all decked out in sharp suits and an assured air that only comes with the ownership of power and wealth. They greeted Lewis warmly but only threw Stacy lustful glances. Lewis sat down at the table and ran his hands along the velvet cloth as he watched his drink being poured.

“How was the party?” one of the gentlemen asked, his eyes glinting with malice.

“Chaotic,” Lewis replied and the gentlemen laughed heartily.

“Good, good,” another said, stroking his grey whiskers, “I was sceptical at first my boy but you’ve proven yourself to be very reliable.  I foresee a bright future for you.” Lewis inclined his head as an acknowledgment. “Let’s get onto other business, Mr. Conway, how are things in your sector proceeding?”

Mr. Conway peered behind a pair of narrow-rimmed glasses and spoke in a deep gravelly voice which belied his age, as he appeared a lot younger than he was. “Very well,” he said, “I have recently come to acquire some compromising photos of the docking commissioner and a lady we are all familiar with…” all the men sniggered and Stacy looked away in disgust. She brushed locks of golden hair away from her eyes and idly gazed around the room, letting the conversation at the table fade into a muzzled background noise. She wondered why on Earth she was still spending time with Lewis. The first time they had met he seemed charming, but it quickly became apparent that behind the quick smile and smooth words he was involved in some very questionable activities.

                She sighed and lamented her fate. Somehow she always seemed to get involved in unusual situations. Perhaps it was her own fault, she mused, that maybe subconsciously she wanted something exciting to happen in her life. Over the previous few years as she had matured she became frustrated with the direction into which most of the lives around her seemed to be heading. It seemed that once you reached a certain stage in life things began to stagnate, her parents being prime examples, and she didn’t want to suffer a similar fate. She was beginning to embark on a modelling career and was in the process of building up a portfolio. She was recommended to attend a party and that is how she met Lewis. He seemed to slalom effortlessly between groups of people and he was evidently well-connected. She thought he may have been a doorway into a privileged life but she had been mistaken, although given the company he kept she wasn’t sure how easy it would be to extricate herself from his company. To pass the time she took out a small bottle of perfume and sprayed it over her neck. Then, her eyes wandered over to the open window and fixed on the world outside, for she swore she saw a figure moving in the black night. Then she turned her head sharply as Lewis was stood in front of her glowering. He had been calling her and she had ignored him, a sin which could not be forgiven.

 ***

              Felicio sprinted away into the night. He’d never felt such intense jealously before as he had in that moment when he thought the girl writhing in the bed was the one he’d seen earlier in the night. He was dismayed when he heard the words ‘Dock Gate 4’. Never having been there, he was unaware of the charm of the locale but all he knew is that it was near the side of town that was rife with crime. It was close to the city centre, but just far away enough to escape the glare of people’s attention. It was one of the rare legitimate businesses; its purpose was to provide a focal point so that in other shady areas criminal activities could take place. Felicio had spent many nights at the docks, and he’d grown to hate the place as it seemed to be a cesspool for the vilest creatures that human nature could produce.

                The docks were mostly deserted by that time of night, so Felicio kept to the shadows and away from the crowds milling outside Dock Gate 4. He walked around to the back of the building and it was a far cry from the professional front they promoted. Bits of debris and rubbish were scattered all about but it didn’t pose a problem for Felicio who was able to nimbly traverse the jagged obstacles. He tried to find a rear entrance where he could infiltrate the club without causing too much commotion.

                Just as he spied a door he looked up and his attention was caught by an open window. The light was on, and he heard muffled voices but then, more importantly, a familiar scent wafted down on the cool night air. It took him a moment to place it but eventually he remembered, and he instantly scampered up the side of the building, using a drainpipe as leverage and balancing on thin ledges, clinging to gaps between brickwork until he could see into the window, and what he saw filled him with ire. The girl was sat pressed against the sofa, her fingers digging into the upholstery, the fear plain on her face even though Felicio could only see her profile. Before her stood that slimy brute and rage built up in Felicio as he imagined all the unconscionable things running through that beast’s mind. Felicio could see the anger in his eyes and something terrible was going to happen unless the hero acted.

                With unparalleled speed he finished his ascent of the wall and leaped through the window. As his figure swooped through the air Stacy screamed, and the men at the table were taken by surprise. Lewis roared with anger and rained blows upon Felicio but they had no effect. The other men retreated to one side of the room, all their wealth and power couldn’t stop them from feeling threatened by this masked marauder. They watched on as he effortlessly deflected Lewis’ blows, and then rage took hold of him, he punched Lewis’ portly frame, driving him across the room until he unsheathed his claws. Lewis screamed out in pain and the others looked on in horror as Felicio left his mark on Lewis’ face. Blood trickled down his cheek, and drops fell to the floor from Felicio’s claws. He turned around slowly and enjoyed the terror that was on each of the gentlemen’s face, he didn’t know who they were but if they were with Lewis they must have been up to no good. Then he walked towards Stacy and held out his hand. She looked around at the room and realised it was her only escape. She offered him her trembling hand and before she knew it she was swept off her feet and suddenly careening down the side of the building. She held on tightly as Felicio controlled their descent, and she sensed she was safe with him.

                Once his feet were firmly on the floor he let her go, and as he did so her arms lingered around his neck and she was facing him. She was slightly shorter, but as he bowed his head an she tilted hers back their eyes met, although she couldn’t see through the mask. But her body was warm against his and just as it had done so the last time he saw her, the moment stretched out to an eternity. As the moonlight flickered across her delicate features and he gazed into her sparkling blue eyes he realised that it must be what falling in love must feel like. For her part, she wondered how she could be so attracted to someone when she didn’t know anything about them…except that at the very moment she needed to be saved he was there. She began to move into him and brought one hand down from his shoulder and rested it on his chest. His heart was racing, and her face lit up with delight. Her other hand came around and stroked his cheek, but then his fear took hold and the moment was lost. He turned away, afraid that she would try to unmask him and how could Peter ever compete with the daring bravado of Felicio?

                “Who are you, Tiger?” she asked, saying the first type of cat that came to mind. Her words were like thunder in the night sky. The faint beat of the music could still be heard in the distance but for all intents and purposes they were the only two people alive. Still with his back to her he turned his head, revealing only part of his face over his shoulder.

“Felicio,” and with that one word uttered he began to walk off, already cursing himself for feeling paralysed when faced with such beauty. But as his attention was all on himself and his own dismal failings he didn’t realise that Stacy was rushing up behind him. She jumped forward, reached out and pulled the mask off. Felicio stopped in his tracks, scared to turn round but knowing he had to. Stacy held the mask in her hand, it looked so small and lifeless, but she didn’t know what would happen now. It was a rash decision made only on impulse, but she was eager to see what lay behind the mask.

                He took a deep breath and gulped and then turned around slowly, and as he did so realisation dawned on her face. It wasn’t what she had expected. He was just a boy but there was a mature earnestness in his eyes, when she looked into them she was met with genuine affection, and that is what he saw when he looked into hers. He seemed to have a purity about him which was only enhanced by the surroundings. The fragile mess covering the ground cracked under her footsteps as she moved towards him. She took his hand in hers and then they fell completely and utterly into each other. A lifetime of dreaming and hoping had finally become transformed into reality and as their lips touched their souls were set ablaze with the fire of a thousand raging suns. Under the moonlight their unspoken vow was sealed and their hearts were entwined, but it would not be a smooth road for much sorrow lay ahead, and the watching stars shed a silent tear, both for the joy of two hearts meeting and for the pain that would follow.

Chapter 13

 

An Interview with Author Robert. D. Spake

My very first interview :)

The Book Elf

I have recently had the pleasure of interviewing a very talented writer, the author of ‘Angelic Hellfire’ Robert D. Spake! He is an up and coming author which has books for sale on Amazon. 

Robert D Spake’s workings include Angelic Hellfire, Step into My Soul and I, tomorrow and other stories, which can all be found on Amazon for Kindle or on Kobo. (Links for these can be found at the bottom of this page.)

The characters in his books are wonderfully researched and are easily identified with.  You can really feel the characters emotions and understand their joy/pain.

With reviews like this and readers calling his work ‘addictive’, theres no question that this author has a bright and fruitful career in writing.

‘I delved into this author’s works with real eager anticipation. Having read thedescriptions of each short story first, it was difficult to decide which one to…

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Felicio Chapter 13 – The Chase is On

“They’re calling it Edukation, with a ‘k’,” Lauren said, her delicate complexion being lit up by the onrushing headlights of passing cars.

“Cute,” Alan grunted in reply, his hand steady on the wheel. Gravel crunched under the weight of the heavy tyres as the car pulled into the driveway. Alan marched up to the door, hoping they weren’t too late, but he had a bad feeling that the party had scattered. As soon as the call came in about a noise disturbance in the area he knew that it was Lewis’ house. The boy was a minor player in the corrupt city but he was protected by his friends and Alan was afraid that Lewis would slip through his grasp once again. The door opened to reveal the cool, assured smile of Lewis.

“Ah Detective, what a pleasant surprise.”

“Hello Lewis. Got a call about a noise disturbance coming from your house. Have you heard anything?”

“No, not really. I’ve just had a small gathering of friends, noting too big, it’s always a risk having a large crowd in one’s own home. I’d hate to see any of my valuables damaged.”

“Do you mind if we come in and take a look around anyway?”

“Be my guest,” Lewis said with an air of false sincerity. Alan walked through to the lounge, Lauren followed close behind. They found the room barren, save for a few people. Alan tried to not let his frustration show.

“These are my friends Matthew and Nick,” Lewis said as he gestured to the blonde-haired boy and the man with the golden tooth, “and this is my lady friend Stacy,” he said with great pride as he held out his hand to a girl of ravishing beauty, not that Alan would entertain such thoughts. The boys grunted at them, but their gaze lingered on Lauren. Matthew was more subtle about it, his eyes danced to and from her body but Nick looked at her with unfettered desire. As he licked his lips his gold tooth gleamed and Lauren was disgusted. She wasn’t the only one; Alan noted that Stacy had a distant look on her face, although it didn’t seem to dispel Lewis’ affections.

“As you can see there are but a few of us. It appears as though someone has been misinformed.”

“Yes, it seems that way,” Alan said, his words dripping with a sharp cynicism, his eyes roaming about the room looking for any sign of a clue but if there were any they went undiscovered.

“Have you heard of Edukation?” Alan said bluntly, hoping to catch them off guard. None of them had any discernible reaction, although Lauren thought she saw Stacy flinch.

“I assume you don’t mean the type that schools provide.”

“I think you know what type I mean.”

“I honestly don’t. I think you have some misconceptions about me. I am just a humble man enjoying a pleasant evening with some friends. I think you should go and find out who gave you the wrong information, I’m very sorry that your times been wasted.” Alan grinned, there was a dark humour about how dark his job was sometimes.

“You think you’re so smart. One day this will all come crashing down and you’ll realise that you’re not as big a deal as you think you are.” Lewis inclined his head slightly, wounded by Alan’s words but not allowing his feelings to show. They amicably departed, both despising the other. As soon as the door was shut Lewis’ face darkened and he smashed his cane against the wall, causing Matthew and Stacy to jump in shock, while Nick seemed to enjoy it.

“Worried boss?” Nick asked, grinning from ear to ear.

“No, just annoyed. It’s of no consequence, he can’t do anything to us. He’s entirely powerless.”

“Sure boss?” Matthew asked, straining to keep his voice from trembling.

“Have you ever had cause to doubt me?” Matthew shook his head. “Then trust me. Everything is proceeding as planned,” he turned to Stacy, “since our plans have gone awry I suggest we adjourn to a more appropriate locale.”

 

Alan slammed the steering wheel and gripped it tightly as it reverberated. Lauren stroked his arm.

“Don’t let him get to you,” she said soothingly.

“It’s not him, it’s the whole damn thing. We’re so close to getting something, I can feel it, but I just can’t get there. I don’t know who’s behind this but I can feel them laughing at me and I hate it. I just wish I could wipe that smug little grin off his face.” The haggard lines in his face were becoming more drawn as his eyes began to fade into a vengeful fantasy, only brought back by the calming touch of Lauren’s fingers on his cheek. She leaned over and whispered in his ear, her hot breath washed over his neck and the tension slipped away. He laughed and his eyes sparkled while he listened to her desire-laden promises. The car pulled away and slipped into the beckoning night.

 

Meanwhile Peter had walked Stephanie home. She made him promise that he wasn’t going to go back to the party, but even though he agreed they both knew he was lying. As soon as the door closed he tore off his clothes and donned the mask of Felicio. Excitement surged through his body and he ran through the suburbs, grateful for the chance to stretch his limbs and use his muscles to their full capacity. He longed to get back to the party, madness had brewed and boiled over and he knew the sooner he returned the less chance there was of somebody getting seriously injured. The last thing he wanted was a repeat of the blazing building, and he couldn’t bear it if that girl became a victim.

                Even though he had only caught a glimpse of her that moment seemed to stretch out to eternity and left an indelible mark on his heart. It was as though a god had taken an image from his dreams, made it real and set her before him. He didn’t believe in love at first sight, but his young untamed heart had taken the first steps to a heady infatuation, a dizzying height from which it would be impossible to descend gradually. This feeling spurred him on to run faster than he ever had before, as if through his speed he could mould the will of the universe to his benefit and find her favour.

                Rushing through the park, he was distracted from his journey by a commotion in the distance. At first he wanted to ignore it, and let fate take its course so he could reach the party and find the girl but then he admonished himself. He reminded himself of the vow he made to himself, and he had to be true to that vow no matter what. It was important for him to hold himself to the highest standard, because he wasn’t just a man, he was Felicio.

                Skulking through the darkness, he approached the disturbance and saw that there was a small group laughing hysterically, but over the laughter came throttled screams. Through the figures Felicio saw that they were burying a man alive. Eventually the bodies shifted to allow him a better vantage point and he saw that they were attempting to bury the midget from the party. He was struggling, to no avail for every time he flicked dirt away they piled it back on and his body was soon submerged in the wet sticky soil.

                The group danced around, as if they were making a ceremonial sacrifice but they were soon interrupted by Felicio. He ran amongst them and they quickly scattered as he swiftly jabbed them in the sides. They fell to the floor one by one. Felicio quickly fell to his knees and yanked the midget out of the soil. In a blaze of unbridled fury the midget screamed and went on a berserk rampage, barrelling through the people who were just getting to their feet and then running off into the distance. By this point a number of the crowd had recovered. One was near a spade, so he picked it up and viciously swung it, the metal made a loud clang as it struck Felicio’s shoulder. Any lesser man would have fallen but Felicio absorbed the pain and remained steadfast, much to the amazement of those surrounding him.

                He stood up and assumed an intimidating position, ready for an attack but it never came. Instead, they all dropped to their knees and proclaimed him a god.

“Our lives are in your hands. We are the star children, you are our star father. We pledge our souls to you and we will do your bidding,” one of them said as they all bowed their heads. Felicio looked at them, utterly baffled by the turn of events. He walked up to one of them, a girl, and tilted her head up. She acted as though she was in a dream, her face moved as if she were experiencing things on an entirely different plane. But her eyes were glazed over and bloodshot, her pupils were dilated so much that her irises seemed non-existent, he stared into each of their eyes and each time it was as if he were gazing into a lonely abyss, once which he was sure they would all be cast into before too long. He pondered it over in his mind then in a stern voice he said,

“Your star father commands you to return home and be better tomorrow than you were today.” They breathed in his words and gave a knowing sigh, as if they had just been given the secrets of the universe. When they looked up Felicio had disappeared, and they were all sure they had been in the presence of something supernatural.

               

                Felicio tried to shake the ridiculousness of the scene out of his head and resumed his spring to the party, although now he feared that he was too late, if those star children had already left the party there may not have been many people left. However, he had to try, although as he approached the house he found his pace slowing. Apprehension had crept in, not fear of a fight but fear of seeing that girl. So many possibilities were twisted in an entangled mess and suddenly his skin was hot and flushed, was it right that she should meet Felicio before Peter? Could he ever trust her with his secret? Would she be in danger? And then the thought occurred that she may not share his feelings. Suddenly the whole world became an intricate web, and such a simple moment became a complicated multitude of potential realities. Perhaps if he was merely Peter he would have turned his back and let his soul be burdened with shame, but the strength of Felicio steeled him against the nagging doubts of his own mind and gave him the resolve to continue, although it was to no avail as the house appeared to be deserted.

                Still, just to be sure he investigated the premises. All was quiet and barely anything stirred, but as he slipped through an open window he heard heavy panting coming from a bedroom. Jealously began to cloud his mind and he tensed his muscles as he climbed the staircase. The door was ajar, he pushed it further open and saw two bodies writhing on the bed, one of them had flowing blonde hair and his heart burned within. Rage flowed through his blood and he was driven to a passion he had never before experienced. With one movement he strode to the bed and yanked the man off, the woman screamed and in the faint light Felicio saw that it wasn’t the girl of his dreams, but her eyes had the same glazed look as those star children in the park. He turned back and Nick was scurrying to cover up his manhood. Felicio stood over him menacingly.

WHERE ARE THEY?” he yelled in a hoarse voice. Nick blubbered and barely formed a coherent sound. Felicio kicked him, his head violently swung to one side and blood poured from his mouth.

WHERE!

“D-D-Dock Gate 4,” he stammered. Felicio marched out, leaving the two of them wondering what had happened. With a grim resolve Felicio ran to the docks. He was determined to make Lewis pay for what he had done to all the ‘star children,’ and he was equally determined to find that girl and introduce himself, although he wasn’t sure whether it would be as Felicio or Peter. 

Chapter 12

Chapter 1 

What Next for Star Trek?

It’s been a week since I watched Star Trek Into Darkness. I’m planning to see it for a second time in the next few days but I’ve been thinking about the film a lot over the past week. I still have a few qualms with certain elements of the story but I’m intrigued by the possibilities they left open for the next film. I consider myself a bit of a Trexpert so I’m going to outline a few ways into which the franchise can boldy go. Obviously there will be spoilers for Star Trek Into Darkness, so if you haven’t seen the film yet go watch it right now, then come back and read this (and check out my review).

1 – Khan

I told you there would be spoilers. I apologise if this did spoil you but you should have followed my instructions and watched the film! Anyway, so Khan isn’t marooned on Ceti Alpha V but he is put back into suspended automation. I wasn’t too enamoured by the use of Khan. I think that because they took so much effort to establish this new continuity it opened the world up for brand new stories and it seemed a shame to revisit Khan in the very next movie, of course sometimes it is fun to encounter familiar things with new twists. I think my main disappointment is that they cribbed almost an entire scene from The Wrath of Khan, which took away a lot of the emotional drama. 

 However, Benedict Cumberbatch was awesome as Khan. He had such a powerful, chilling presence that you just want to see more. I think now he has more of a reason to seek vengeance against Kirk (or perhaps his wrath will be directed more towards Spock) than he did in The Wrath of Khan. But I wouldn’t like to see him in the next film. There’s a tendency for laypeople to elevate Khan as Star Trek’s main villain, but prior to this movie he was only in one episode and one movie. Out of 700+ hours that isn’t much. I’d rather not see the focus of the movies narrowly stick to Khan so while I’d like to see Benedict Cumberbatch return as Khan I hope it isn’t for the next movie or two at least (assuming they get that far). 

2 – War with Klingons

Admiral Marcus seemed to think war with Klingons was inevitable. It’ll be interesting to see if he’s proved right. They haven’t featured much in the new films but I loved the little bit we did get. They’re always an intriguing race and are a huge part of the fabric that makes up Star Trek. Outside of Deep Space 9 there haven’t been many huge fleet battles. The closest we’ve come in the movies is in First Contact. The budget and special effects could do such a battle justice and I’m sure it would be an incredible sight on the big screen. Also, the landscape of this Alpha Quadrant has changed with the destruction of Vulcan, and I think the Klingons may be willing to press for war. Let’s not forget too that in The Original Series it was only the Organians that prevented an all-out conflict between the Federation and the Klingon Empire. 

Having said that, it risks turning Star Trek into Star Wars. If they do go this route I hope there’s a lot of drama and context to give the war depth rather than just ‘kewl space battles pew pew pew’. I would like to see some proper ship-to-ship combat though. So far the Enterprise has gone up against two vastly superior ships, so I’d like to see a ‘Balance of Terror’ situation, which would help flesh out Kirk’s character as we get to see a side of him that has gone explored – the strategist. 

3 – Borg

This is one idea I am completely behind. I know they appeared a lot in Voyager and they lost a lot of their menace but The Borg have the potential to be one of the most scariest antagonists. I’d love to see what the Bad Robot team would have in store for a redesign of The Borg, and hopefully they would be Queen-less. And, aside from the books by William Shatner, Kirk has never faced the Borg and it’s something I would love to see. I fear though it would be a bit of a retread of the “Earth is in peril from a badass ship” story though, so perhaps they would be best saved for a fourth film (Borg Khan?). 

4 – Space, the final frontier…

Perhaps my favourite moment from the film, I loved the last scene where the Enterprise warped off on her five year mission, with the voiceover by Kirk, something we hadn’t heard since The Original Series. Part of what I love about Star Trek is the exploration, and with such a big galaxy to play in I think it’s better to get away from Earth and the surrounding area. I think it’s important not to forget about the ‘Trek’ part of the title so it would probably be wise to explore strange new worlds, seek out new life and new civilisations etc at some point. 

5 – Re-vamp existing episodes

So they’ve gone back to Khan which has had a mixed reaction but what if they took an existing concept which didn’t quite work the first time around? There could even be an in-joke where Spoke gets Sylar’d and loses his brain! Or we could have an updated version of Lazarus, this time with a consistent beard! The possibilities are endless… 

I’m half-joking there, but as I said earlier it is nice seeing new twists on familiar things. So it might be cool to see an updated Doomsday Machine, or a Salt Vampire, or the organism from ‘The Immunity Syndrome’, or the Talosions, or an encounter with Balok, or the Horta.

I really want to re-watch The Original Series now. 

4 is my preferred option, possibly combined with 5 but if the teaser for the next film is just a red laser shooting out from the distance I will be extremely excited. I hope there’s no time travel though. 

– Man of Yesterday

Felicio Chapter 12 – The Star Children’s Chorus

Peter and Stephanie sat on the sofa, uncomfortable under the expectant glance of the three men. Their hands were heavy with pressure, their mouths dry. Peter gulped, unsure of how he was to extricate himself from the situation. The man with the gold tooth furrowed his brow and whispered something in the ear of the leader. The words were mangled under a thick accent but Peter learned that the leader’s name was Lewis. Then, all of a sudden, a banshee’s scream flew through the house, followed by a crackle and a large cheer.

“Hm, it appears they started early. Enjoy the party,” Lewis said in a smooth, assured voice. As the triumvirate departed the two friends breathed a sigh of relief.

“For a moment there I thought you were actually going to take it,” Stephanie said.

“I haven’t changed that much,” he replied stiffly, “let’s go and see what the commotion is about.” They walked through the languid figures taking care to avoid the relaxed legs that stretched across the floor. They passed through the lounge into the kitchen were a group of people stood leaning against the edge of the counters. Conversation briefly stopped so they could examine the people passing through, Peter and Stephanie excused themselves and tried to move as quickly as possible to escape the awkward atmosphere. As he moved through the house Peter realised just how insidious this drug was. Whoever was organising the scheme had spread their tentacles throughout the student body; uniting all the social cliques under the umbrella of addiction. Lewis seemed to be in charge but Peter couldn’t remember ever seeing him around college, although it was quite possible that they had never crossed paths before. It was a much wider world than Peter had experienced.

                Once outside they found themselves on a patio filled with a raucous crowd. The garden was large, and when the patio stopped a vast lawn was being stomped on by people with a festival atmosphere. Even though it was a bleak winter night they were all too willing to bare their skin to the elements. A cacophony of shrill laughter and excited screams swept over the crowd, pushing them further into their delirium. Another banshee’s scream filled the air and Peter and Stephanie’s eyes were drawn to the sky where a burst of colour exploded against the black canvas. Fragments of red and blue shone brilliantly in front of the violet clouds, flying through the sky in a vivid display, quickly burning out and dying into nothingness. One by one more fireworks were set off; making the sky come alive with a vibrant dance that struck everyone with a sense of awe, and it was only magnified for those who were under the influence of Edukation.

“Isn’t it funny how fire works but it never gets paid?”

Stephanie rolled her eyes, “You’re an idiot. Maybe you should take the drug.” Peter merely shrugged, and before he could respond something in the far reaches of the garden caught his attention. Through the crowd, deep into the darkness he saw two figures. As his eyes adjusted he saw that it was Nathan and Harry, but this time they weren’t locked in a fight, and it puzzled him that not so long ago he had caught Harry beating on Nathan mercilessly. But as he continued watching them he saw something which made the whole situation clear. Nathan slyly handed a wad of notes over.  Upon receiving them Harry ruffled Nathan’s hair and patted him on the back. Evidently the conflict that he had broken up hadn’t been a case of bullying, it was business. He was surprised that Nathan had been sucked into this world; he had always struck Peter as a sheltered boy who knew nothing of a world outside his studies. Still, most people had demons lurking in their soul and sometimes they were able to overpower the purity which every person has in varying quantities.

                “I don’t like this,” Stephanie said, the worry plain in her voice, “can we go?”

“Just a little longer,” he said, secretly wishing that something would happen to give him an excuse to become Felicio. He could feel the costume hugging his skin and he wanted to rid himself of his outer clothes and become who he was meant to be.

                The fireworks stopped and the pounding music was hushed, much to the crowd’s annoyance. But as they started jeering a shirtless man with a rich complexion stood on the roof of the conservatory. He was full of energy and his dreadlocks swung as he dynamically strode around his stage. He didn’t need a microphone, for his booming voice bellowed out over the crowd and he held them all in rapture.

“I won’t keep you from the party too long. I just wanted to say that this is a special day and we’re all special people. It’s cold and it’s dark but we light up the world with our hot souls. The future is out there, waiting for us to take it and taste it and rip it from its pedestal and we can, and we will. We will. Our minds are open to a new horizon and I can feel all of you, all of us star children are destined to be held aloft on the shoulders of the gods. Our minds are no longer shackled to space and time but they’re free to wander the universe. Feel the heat of the farthest star and know that in this moment we are immortal. Celebrate life with me!” At this point he promptly jumped off the roof into the crowd who had been inspired by his words, hoping that they would catch them but they were too busy holding their drinks and he crashed to the floor, making a sickening thud as his body fell flat against the ground. For a moment the crowd looked on with bated breath but then he groggily rose and began dancing, to the delight of everyone.

“This is too weird. It’s like a cult, can we go?”

“Not yet,” Peter said, resistant to her pleas. She would have left but part of her was afraid to leave Peter on his own in case he did anything rash, and another part feared for her safety as the walk home was a long one and there were too many disreputable characters that could follow her. So they remained at the party and were witness to the depravity without actually being involved.

                In the garden the music was set loud enough to reach the heavens, and the crowd lost themselves to the music. The dance turned into a frenzy as alcohol and Edukation surged through the bloodstream. Flesh met flesh as savage, primal natures came to the fore and drove the sweating bodies to fulfil their most basic needs. Lips locked in warm wet embraces as the whole group descended into a sizzling pit of lust, their insatiable hunger only growing as they drove themselves to excess. Around the fringes of the garden random acts of graffiti were being performed as flowers were being snapped from their stems and the ornaments were being smashed. Soon enough they heard the revving of an engine and then the roar of a motorbike as it came crashing through the back gate and spun over the wet muddy grass, sending everyone running in panic. Then their heads jerked to the direction of the house as a window smashed and a midget was flung onto the patio. He immediately got up, dusted himself off and jumped back through the shattered glass, eyes blazing with fury.

                Inside the house wasn’t much better. Stephanie pulled Peter through, determined to leave no matter how much he protested. The kitchen was covered in food and something had exploded out of the microwave, dark splotches were dripping down cupboard doors. They were just about to step into the lounge when a man ran past, he was being chased by the midget who was using a can of deodorant and a lighter as a makeshift flamethrower whilst yelling obscenities. The party had descended into madness, the drug had taken its full effect. In the lounge people were exchanging piercings. Blood oozed from the holes they were making and others were using that blood as ink for tattoos. They seemed to delight in the pain and Peter was disgusted, he wanted to become Felicio and clean up the house, rip the pills from their hands and send them away, ashamed. But in the distance he heard the wail of police sirens and knew he had to protect Stephanie.

                He pulled Stephanie through the lounge and as he looked back he saw Lewis’s evil face twisted into a deplorable grin, he was revelling in the chaos he caused as if he were master of it all. Peter felt an intense hatred, and knew that Felicio would be called upon soon. They reached the door but just as they were leaving Peter hesitated, something had caught his eye. He looked up the stairs and descending them was a radiantly beautiful girl. She seemed completely out of place, as if Aphrodite was lost in an empty, desolate void. His eyes were locked on her form, her essence seemed to cast a glowing aura and it was as though he felt his heart beating for the first time. She brushed a lock of blonde hair away from her soft cheek and her bright blue eyes looked up, meeting his gaze. Her full, ruby red lips slipped into a smile and in that perfect moment his world was transformed as if suddenly, all at once, everything fell into place. Then Stephanie pulled him away into the cold darkness and the door slammed, but it couldn’t sever the brief bond that had formed between the two strangers.

                They walked home at a quick pace and Peter vowed that as soon as Stephanie was safely home he would don the mask and go back to the party. Lewis needed an education that only Felicio could provide.

Chapter 11 – A New Education

Star Trek Into Darkness Review

For those of you who don’t know me it’s worth pointing out that Star Trek is my favourite thing ever. I love all the tv shows and the old movies and I really enjoyed 2009’s Star Trek. I love the energy and vigour J.J. Abrams has introduced to the franchise so I was very excited for Star Trek Into Darkness. As with Iron Man 3 I’ll do a non-spoiler review and then a spoiler one.

I and a friend went to a midnight showing and we were given a free poster which was a nice little bonus. Then the film started, and I sat, engrossed, with a childish grin on my face for the next two hours. The action set pieces and fight scenes were well executed and the humour elicited many laughs from the crowd. However, the emotional beats were somewhat forced and while I appreciate that they appreciate original Trek, some parts of the film come off as too self-referential and it took me out of the movie. The other unfortunate bit is that the film is entirely predictable but that didn’t necessarily dampen my enjoyment and the performances of the actors elevated the story. Chris Pine has captured the essence of Captain Kirk with all the swagger, bravado and vulnerability that Shatner originally brought to the role. But while Pine has inhabited his character, I’m not entirely convinced that Zachary Quinto has the same gravitas as Leonard Nimoy, although that could just be because his Spock has been shaped by the recent trauma. I won’t say too much about Benedict Cumberbatch as John Harrison, but he was a chilling presence and a worthy adversary. The rest of the cast all had their moments, I’d have to say Scotty was the stand-out of the supporting characters.

With lots of action and humour I’m sure it will be a hit. It’s just unfortunate that the predictability lets it down. There’s also a hollowness to some of the emotional beats, but by the end I was left with a smile on my face and excitement in my heart which is all I ask from Star Trek. My main disappointment came from the fact that it had to end. Two hours of Star Trek every three years just isn’t enough!

\\//,

Now, spoilers.

Where shall I start…well first of all the movie started with a mission that felt like classic TOS, and I enjoyed seeing the crew on a regular mission. Then the film starts and we’re introduced to the bad guy – John Harrison. Due to Bad Robot’s secrecy there have been a lot of rumours and a lot of denials but after watching the movie I’m left wondering why, because in the film it wasn’t exactly a dramatic reveal and it came fairly early on, plus it was so obvious after John Harrison’s first scene. It pales in comparison with the way Iron Man 3 handled its villain. He’s Khan by the way. It feels so good to type that because I can’t share it on Facebook. Khan. Khan. Khan. Khan. Khan. And he is an awesome Khan, a bit less…seductive than Ricardo Montalban’s initial appearance but the circumstances are different. He does a skull-crushing thing which is really cool, and every fight scene he’s in he just oozes power.

He’s not the only bad guy though, and it was Admiral Marcus who revived Khan to help prepare for an inevitable war with the Kingons. Peter Weller gave an imposing performance as the grizzled Admiral, and the mention of Section 31 was a nice reference for the fans. There were a number of other references too, including models of the NX-01 and the ring ship, a name drop of Christine Chapel and a visit to the Daystrom Institute, plus a lot more. However, while I enjoy these little nods there were more overt references to a previous Trek film, and this is where my main criticism of the film comes in.

The Wrath of Khan is my favourite movie ever and while it’s great to see moments from that film re-enacted with a new spin, I’d rather the writers create their own lines and their own moments of emotional importance rather than cribbing them from other films. What was supposed to be an emotional part of the film took me completely out of the film, and just repeating iconic lines won’t give them the same emotional weight as they had when they were first heard in their natural context. This time it’s Kirk who becomes irradiated, but it’s far less shocking than The Wrath of Khan because we’ve already seen it before, and also because they telegraphed an obvious way to bring him back to life. Having said that, this time it is Spock who yells Khan’s name and I think it does work better in this context, and the rampage which follows is some great work by Quinto. I know I mentioned earlier that I think he lacks the stoic gravitas of Nimoy, but the more I think about it, I believe it’s just a case of getting used to his more emotional portrayal.

Speaking of the Enterprise, there are some nice shots of her and one of my hopes for this film is that Kirk (and we) had a chance to fall in love with her. There was a nice shot of her in spacedock, but it wasn’t a slow lingering reveal as in Star Trek: The Motion Picture or Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. Still, the shots of her emerging from the water were impressive and there was a particular fist-pumping moment as she rose through a blanket of clouds. I love the warp effect too. The film simply looks gorgeous.

The one thing that did come as a nice surprise was a brief appearance by Leonard Nimoy. There’s also a sequence with Klingons which was cool, and I like the designs of their ships.

I did like how it drew on the classic Trek themes of a balance between logic and emotion, gut instinct and thoughtful reflection and the ideals that are present throughout the various incarnations. At first Jim is bent on revenge against Khan and is determined to make him pay for killing so many innocent people, but in the end he realises humans are better than that, or at least they should strive to be.

After the battle with Khan is over we see him in a stasis tube with his other genetic supermen, ready to be revived for another day. I think it was a good idea not to kill him, so that they can bring him back in the future but I am somewhat surprised and slightly disappointed that Jim didn’t maroon him on Ceti Alpha V. I think that would have been a more fitting punishment, rather than leaving them in stasis.

For me, the true climax of the film came right at the end when the Enterprise embarks on her five year mission, and Chris Pine gets to speak the iconic words, followed by the updated TOS theme which is still beautiful to the ears. It’s at this point when I just want to spend more time with these characters and I hate that the film ends.

It’ll be interesting to see where they go with the next film, and who directs it. I’d quite like to see the Borg, although more Klingons wouldn’t go amiss. I wonder if the war is as inevitable as Admiral Marcus seemed to think. Whatever happens I can’t wait for 2016, it seems to far away at the moment.

– Man of Yesterday \\//,

Felicio Chapter 11 – A New Education

In a shadowy corner of the campus, long after teaching hours were over, a man stood, cloaked in darkness. The gentle burning of a cigarette was the only source of light. He breathed out a wave of smoke and flicked the cigarette away, treading the smouldering ash into the ground. Soft footsteps approached, crunching the gravel underfoot. The man sniffed in the chilled night air and spat out some phlegm while bending down. He handed over a plastic bag filled with containers of small green pills.

“Make sure they all get it,” a strong, rumbling voice said.

“Y-yes sir,” a trembling whisper replied.

“Well, what are you waiting for?” the man growled. Without saying a word the other turned away, the bag hanging by their side. Unseen in the gloom, the man wore a wicked smile, his black heart darker than the night sky.

 ***

“We can do this,” Peter said, practically pushing Emma through the hall.

“But there are so many…so noisy…all in one place.”

‘He could do better.’

‘She could do better.’

‘All I want is for him to smile.’

‘When I was young I used to say live and let live.’

‘Ash will die.’ She quickly looked at Peter, who realised too late that she had read his last thought. Neither of them said anything about it. They took a seat in the corner. Emma huddled up to Peter, her dark soulful eyes directed away from the crowds ahead.

“There’s too many, I can’t make any sense.”

“Just try and focus on mine, then branch out from there.” He smiled at her and she nodded, looking relieved. Taking a deep breath, she closed her eyes and she concentrated on Peter’s thoughts. She saw the fight in the bar and experienced the feeling of power and superiority Peter felt. She felt the heat from the blazing building, and the desperate sorrow as Felicio wasn’t able to save the children’s mother. She went all the way back to the beginning and experienced a fraction of the pain Peter felt as his soul was split open and the power was bestowed upon him. Emma got a sense of the burden he carried, and her heart went out to him. Yet the one thing she didn’t sense which she so desperately wanted to was love for her. There was a great deal of affection, but it was more the kind that a brother has for a sister, a protective feeling rather than a passionate one. He was the only one, apart from Katrina, who could understand what she was going through. He was the only one who had reached out to help her, but he didn’t love her. Saddened, she turned her mind away from him and tried to reach out for the others. It took a lot of concentration but she managed to let the thoughts drip into her mind. After a few moments she turned to Peter.

“They’re all so frightened,” she said, her eyes wet with tears. Peter clenched his jaw. He knew how hard it must have been for her to be aware of so much pain and fear and not have the ability to help, but there was nothing he could do, and he had a mission.

“Is there anything about drugs?”

She nodded, and wiped her eyes. “Him,” she said, gesturing to a boy sat on the edge of one of the ‘normal tables’. The boy she was gesturing to had an aloof demeanour, and looked distant, as if he wasn’t interested in anything any of his friends had to say. He had cropped blonde hair and a shining stud in his ear. His eyebrows were arched downward as if in a permanent scowl. Without the security of his costume Peter was nervous, but he made his way across the cloister where he leaned down and spoke in a low voice.

“I hear you can get the stuff,” he said, unsure whether his tactic would work. The boy looked at him, “not here,” he said and got up, leading Peter around the corner to a more secluded area. Emma craned her neck but lost sight of them as they left, and without Peter’s reassuring presence the thoughts of others swarmed at her mind like a pack of rabid vultures.

 ***

“How did you find out?” the boy said.

“A friend told me about it, I’m Peter.” The boy shrugged. He pulled out a scrap of paper and, after scrawling an address, handed the crumpled shred to Peter.

“Come here tonight and we’ll sort you out, we’re having a party so bring a friend” he said, promptly walking off to rejoin his friends. Peter looked at the address, he knew the road but he had no idea who actually lived there, or what lay in store for him. Still, he looked pleased when he went back to Emma, but he instantly became concerned when he saw that she wasn’t there. Using his enhanced sense of smell he tracked her scent through the college to the edge of the grounds where she stood alone, an isolated figure in the soft mist. She looked so lost and forlorn, for a moment Peter pitied her but then she turned around, and he pushed the thought away, hoping but doubting that he was quick enough.

“Are you okay?”

“I am now,” she smiled weakly. Peter didn’t need to read minds to know that she was lying. “Did you get what you wanted?”

“Yes I did,” he said, waving the piece of paper in the air, “thank you so much for your help, I know it was difficult for you. Apparently it’s a party, would you like to come?” Her face suddenly lit up, and was just as suddenly engulfed in shadows. There was nothing she would have liked more than to accept his invitation but she knew she would only embarrass herself. She felt the pity he had for her and it was a terrible feeling. She didn’t want to be pitied, but there was no worse thought for her than to be at a party surrounded by strangers because she would quickly learn their most intimate secrets and she was tired of having such a raw vision of the world. She longed for an illusion, a little bit of mystery, but the truth relentlessly hounded her. She declined Peter’s invitation and turned his back on him, he let her disappear into the mist.

While walking home he called Stephanie and invited her to join him. She readily agreed, always eager for a chance to socialise. Peter chose his outfit carefully, making sure that his costume couldn’t be seen under his clothes. He stuffed his mask and gloves into his pockets and met Stephanie.

“Wow, you look great,” he exclaimed. She’d made a real effort; her usually straight hair was now wavy and red lipstick gave her face a burst of colour.  The light of the streetlamps hit her just as the way moonlight shines on a crystal lake, and it was a sight Peter wasn’t prepared for at all.

“Of course I do, it is our first date, right?” Peter became flustered and tried to stammer out words, but before he could force a reply she walked on ahead, tilted her head back and laughed, “I’m only teasing you Pete, come on.”

He felt foolish and hurried to catch up with her. He wasn’t sure what was waiting for him, and part of him was scared that he’d be putting Stephanie in danger but he vowed that he would do everything to protect her. Occasionally he’d draw his fingers into his sleeve, just to feel his costume, and each time he did so he gave a small sigh of relief.

“So am I going to be your sidekick for the evening?” she asked.

“I thought you didn’t want to be a sidekick?”

“That was before you started becoming a bit famous.”

“Hmm, well, you’d need a costume and a name, but I really think I’m more the lone wolf type, forging my own path,” he said, raising his arm and pointing his fingers to an indeterminate point in the distance.

“You’re so dramatic sometimes.”

“It’s a serious business you know.”

“This is a party remember, loosen up.”

Eventually they reached the house. It was set towards the back of a cul-de-sac and the surrounding area was completely at peace. The fine mist had yet to life and it cast an eerie scene. Despite her cheery exuberance, Stephanie couldn’t get rid of a feeling of trepidation, but she knew as long as she stayed close to Peter she would be safe. He knocked on the door and as he waited his claws popped out and he absent-mindedly tapped against the wall, mindlessly scraping the bricks as he did so.

“Do you have to do that?” she said, annoyed. Before he could apologise the door opened. A scruffy looking man appeared, he must have been a few years older than him. Patches of stubble sprouted over his face and neck, and when he smiled a gold tooth glinted. He loosely held a bottle of beer and held the door open for the two of them, making no secret of his desire for Stephanie. Despite outward appearances the house was a dirty hovel. The whole place was crowded with people of various ages. A rusty bicycle leaned against the stairs, and people with tousled hair walked down those stairs, a descent of shame. Stephanie gripped Peter’s hand, and he squeezed back. Most of the lights were turned off. A muted television provided most of the illumination. Peter stifled a cough, the dirty smells were magnified for him and it made bile rise in his throat.

They brushed past people and made their way into the lounge. Others were reclined on the chairs, so they found a corner of the sofa and perched carefully on the edge, unsure of how to proceed. Everyone already seemed to be in their own cliques and Peter couldn’t see the blonde boy anywhere. Loud laughter came from what Peter assumed was the kitchen and then thunderous music burst forth through the house. Cheers rang out and dancing began, and the whole thing seemed like a blur. Once again Peter’s claws were out and they were digging into the arm of the chair. Stephanie nudged him and he instantly withdrew them. Then three men approached.

One was the man who had greeted them at the door, the other was the blonde boy and they were flanking a portly man with an arrogant smile. His hair was shaved almost to the scalp and ostentatious gold rings sat on each chubby finger. It was difficult for Stephanie to tell in the darkness, but Peter saw that his teeth and nails had an ugly yellow tinge. He was a despicable man by any standards, and yet he had an aura that suggested he was completely in control of his own world and anything he wanted he got. He studied Peter and Stephanie for a moment, analysing them in an inscrutable way. Eventually he held out his palm and the man with the gold tooth dropped two small green pills in his hand. He placed them in Stephanie and Peter’s hands, closing their hands as if they were holding a precious treasure. As he leaned in to speak his alcohol stained-breath made Peter wince.

“Enjoy your new education,” he said, each word deliberate and laced with a seductive charge which left Peter feeling unsettled.  The pills felt large in their hand, and an uneasiness spread over them as the three men watched on. The two friends looked at each other with pleading eyes, both silently asking the other, ‘what now?’

Chapter 10 – Weakness and Strength

Walking With Dinosaurs

At the weekend I travelled to London to see the Walking with Dinosaurs Arena Show. I wasn’t really sure what to expect, but I love dinosaurs (I mean, who doesn’t right?) so I was looking forward to it and I have to say it was amazing! The show was split up into two 45 minute halves with a short intermission. Given the time constraints it didn’t go particularly in-depth, it’s main objective was to give a brief overview of the Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous periods up to when (spoiler alert) the dinosaurs became extinct.

A paleontologist was on hand to present the show and he was a dynamic presence, sprinting across the stage and interacting with the dinosaurs. His enthusiastic narration provided interesting facts and a few jokes which made me chuckle. However, the main attraction of the show was of course the dinosaurs, and they were impressive to say the least.

On a personal note I was disappointed that the Triceratops didn’t make an appearance, but they had a good selection of dinosaurs on display including Brachiosaurus, Allosaurus, Utah Raptor, Ankylosaurus, Stegosaurus, Torosaurus and the mighty T-Rex. The dinosaurs were huge and incredibly detailed; their hides were wrinkled and flecked with different patterns. I want to say they were lifelike but (to my disappointment) I’ve never seen a real dinosaur so I can’t really compare, but they’re an exact depiction of how I imagine dinosaurs would look. The movements appeared natural, although I think there were some limitations because the dinosaurs were rather ponderous (which wasn’t too jarring, except when the presenter noted the Allosaurus’ impressive speed). The stage had movable props which represented the passage of time – Pangaea separated into different landmasses, flowers sprouted and trees rose.  We were treated to a few confrontations between herbivores and carnivores, and a battle between two Torosauruses, which resulted in the elder one having one of his horns snapped – sad times.

The lighting and sound effects added some atmosphere. The lighting was particularly impressive, especially the effect when the comic hit. I was surprised actually because it was quite intense, especially since there were number of young children in the crowd. Still, it provided some dramatic flair and the main musical theme was reminiscent of the theme from Jurassic Park. The climax of the show and the main highlight was the T-Rex. It was accompanied by a baby T-Rex whose roar was bit like young Simba’s in The Lion King. The adult T-Rex’s thundering roar was spine-chilling.

Overall it was a great show. My one complaint is that there should have been more dinosaurs because there were parts where they were just walking around and just seemed to be taking up time. But that wasn’t a major issue. It was a great show, partly educational, very entertaining and did the models of the dinosaurs were imbued with a majesty and grace that did the great creatures justice. And now I really want to watch Jurassic Park, or time travel back to dino-times. Watching Jurassic Park is probably safer though.

– Man of Yesterday

Happy Star Wars Day!

It’s May the 4th, Star Wars Day, so I thought I’d take a little time just talking about my second favourite sci-fi franchise (Star Trek will always be my first love). I don’t remember exactly when I first watched the original trilogy. I know I saw them in the cinema when they were re-released in the mid-90’s, and then of course the prequels came. I’m a pretty relaxed fan of Star Wars. I don’t approach the prequels with the vitriol of some others and most of the changes made to the OT don’t bother me too much (although I’m still mystified why Anakin’s force ghost is his younger self). 

I remember when The Phantom Menace was coming out. I had the sticker book and was very excited, I remember especially loving the Naboo starfighters and Queen Amidala’s ship. They looked so beautiful and sleek. Of course that film was disappointing in some places and annoying in others but it gave us Duel of the Fates which is an incredible piece of music, and in fact I’m going to listen to that right now. 

I didn’t watch Attack of the Clones in the cinema, but I was very excited about Revenge of the Sith and that film didn’t disappoint. Of course, now I find it hard to watch individual films. If I want to watch Star Wars I generally marathon the saga or watch them over consecutive nights. My favourite bit of Revenge of the Sith is the Order 66 montage. So much emotion and tragedy captured in that brief sequence, it never fails to bring a tear to my eye. Especially the death of the beautiful Aayla Secura, I hope they work her into the new Star Wars films. Excuse me while I franchise-hop for a moment, but I also hope they use a similar montage in the upcoming X-Men: Days of Future Past past film. To see Sentinels blasting away our favourite mutants would be awesome. You may think I’m a sadist, but how often do you get to see iconic characters dying en masse?

Another good thing the prequels brought us was Ewan McGregor as Obi-Wan. I love his portrayal and I really hope he returns somehow in one of the new projects. 

A New Hope is probably the most quotable film of all time. The OT itself is full of quotable moments, and also some great shots. The opening of A New Hope is one of the best movie openings over. It’s mind-blowing when the Star Destroyer just goes on and on and on and on. Another of my favourite shots from The Empire Strikes Back is when the Falcon hides in the asteroid, it’s a beautiful moment where it gracefully swoops up in a loop and descends. 

My two favourite characters are R2 and Leia. R2 is really the true hero of the saga. He knows everything, he’s determined, tenacious, brave, badass and the heroes wouldn’t have stood a chance without him. He also had some of the best lines, it’s just a shame we couldn’t understand him. 

My other favourite is Leia. I know there’s a lot written about the depiction of women in movies and how there’s a lot of sexism and a lot of stereotyping, and unfortunately a lot of it is true. However, Leia I think is a great role model and one of the best-written women in popular culture. She’s strong and independent of course, but she’s also caring and she doesn’t see that side of herself as being weak. She’s more her father’s daughter though, I don’t see her doing a Padmé and giving up on life when she has two children to raise (that’s probably the one thing that does really annoy me). In fact if I was re-making the OT, I’d reveal that Luke and Leia are siblings earlier, kill off Luke in Empire Strikes Back and then shift the hero’s narrative over to Leia. 

I could probably ramble on about Star Wars for a while but I think I’ll leave it there. 

May the Force be with us all!